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News: Economy

Inflation Down, Unemployment Up in Venezuela

Mérida, December 9th 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – According to monthly statistics from the Venezuelan National Institute of Statistics (INE), inflation for last month was down, unemployment has increased slightly and overall accumulated inflation for this year is slightly higher than last year.

The National Index of Consumer Prices (INPC), created by the National Bank of Venezuela (BCV) and the INE, registered inflation of 1.5% for November, the same as October and lower than November last year when it was 1.9%.

The lowest monthly inflation so far this year was in September, at 1.1% and the highest in April at 5.2%.

Accumulated inflation from January to November this year is 24.9%, higher than the equivalent period last year, which was 23.0%

The area with the highest inflation was alcoholic drinks and tobacco at 3.1%, followed by hotels and restaurants at 2.6%, and diverse goods and services at 1.9%. The areas with the lowest inflation were housing and communication, both at 0.2%, then rental housing at 0.4%.

So far this year, accumulated inflation has been lowest in the Andean region (23.7% in Merida and 22.6% in San Cristobal states) and highest along the coast, with 25.3% in Caracas, 25.4% in Maturin, and 26.5% in Valencia. However, just in November, Caracas and Merida shared the lowest inflation, at 1.3%, while Barquisimeto had the highest, at 2.0%.

November is the fifth month in a row with inflation under 2%, which the BCV said reflected a “deceleration of inflation and it represents an optimistic sign regarding a future favourable evolution of prices”.

Unemployment

According to the monthly workforce report by the INE, unemployment rose slightly from 8.4% in September to 9.0% in October, one of the higher levels of the year. Unemployment tends to go down in December when there is extra Christmas related work.

Elias Eljuri, president of the INE, emphasised that to understand the economy it’s necessary to take a longer term perspective, and said that when Chavez first became president in 1999, unemployment was 15.3%.

Also, Eljuri said the decrease in the informal sector showed that the government was consolidating the productive sectors of the Venezuelan economy. He said that in 1999 the formal sector took up a total of 46.9% of the workforce, where as in September this year it was 56.5%.

Published on Dec 10th 2010 at 12.34am